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Understanding Your Patella

The patella is the part of the body more commonly referred to as the kneecap.  As the patella is at the forefront of your leg, it is often one of the most common reasons you experience knee pain. Many instances of pain associated with the knee cap can occur for seemingly no reason or after an injury.

The patella is covered with a layer of cartilage which connects it to the other bones in the leg. The patella is also wrapped in a tendon which connects the muscles of the thigh to the shin bone. It is important component of the leg structure as it gives the knee joint leverage and aids in the extension of the leg from the joint of the knee.

Pain in the patella is often common with kneeling, walking down steps, or after sitting for an extended period of time. There are other issues that affect the patella including:

  • Runner’s Knee  (Chondromalacia Patellae) – this is due to the irritation of cartilage on the underside of the knee.
  • Prepatellar Bursitis – this is the swelling and inflammation in the front of the knee which is common in workers that have to kneel for long period of time such as carpenters.
  • Dislocation – the kneecap can come out of a groove of the femur and become dislocated.
  • Patellar Subluxation – this is a condition where the kneecap becomes unstable in its groove. 

Treating problems with your patella may require regular physical therapy or invasive surgery. It depends on the exact diagnosis and the level of pain being experienced. Doctor assessment is crucial to determine the course of treatment. Rest is often a necessity to give the knee cap and surrounding areas time to heal and allow inflammation to be reduced.

Suffering from knee pain or injury?  Seeking more information?  Read our FREE report – The Disabiiity Guys' Guide to Your Knees.

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